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Today is: Wednesday January 17, 2018


Heat Stroke in Dogs

Heat stroke occurs when your dog is no longer able to maintain his normal body temperature of 101 degrees. Generally, heat stroke occurs when a dog is kept somewhere where there is little shade, little ventilation, and no water. For example, a hot car or kennel. Heat stroke can also be caused by exercising, being over excited, and under severe stress.

Heat stroke is defined by having a body temperature over 105 degrees. At higher temperatures, above 106, the internal organs will start to breakdown, and if the dog is not cooled off quickly he may die. You have only minutes to save his life.

Signs of heat stroke

  • Excessive panting

  • Slobbering, thick saliva

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Increased body temperature

  • Pale gums, bright red tongue

  • Disoriented

  • Breathing Difficulties

  • Can cause collapse, coma or death

How to treat heat stroke

  • Remove the dog from the heat source and place in a cool, shady, ventilated spot: Preferably in an air conditioned area or place a fan in front of him. 

  • Allow access to small amounts of cool water or a few pieces of ice cubes.

  • Cool the dog of with cool (NOT cold) water. Either use cool, wet towels and lay them on the dog, or using a hose or bath tub to immerse with cool water. Do not leave the towels on the dog.

  • Check body temperature with a rectal thermometer once temperature returns to normal stop the cooling process. Keep track of his body temperature.

  • If body temperature remains elevated or goes above 106, get the dog to the vet immediately.

  • Even if it seems like the dog recovered, it is a wise idea to make an appointment with the vet for an examination.

Tips to avoid heat stroke

  • Exercise your dog early in the morning or later in the evenings on hot, humid days.

  • Limit outdoor activity on hot, sunny days.

  • Allow the dog to be an air conditioned area during hot weather. If this is not possible, make sure there is plenty of shade and ventilation available.

  • Always have fresh, cold water available.

  • Place a baby pool filled with cold water in shaded area for the dog to lie in to help cool him off.

This site and its contents are intended to serve as basic informational purposes 
 --not a substitute for-- 
professional veterinary care!

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